'Pen15' Trailer Shows Off The Upcoming Animated Special

Last month, word came out that the terrific Hulu comedy series Pen15 would be producing an animated episode, which is a major stylistic departure for the show. Now, thanks to a new trailer, we have a better look at what that episode will look like – and the "mystical" event that changes the lead characters' appearances for a portion of the story. Check it out below.

Pen15 Trailer

The Pen15 animated special is called "Jacuzzi," and its official description is as follows: "On vacation with Curtis, Anna and Maya are introduced to new crippling insecurities. The girls try to ignore them, but a mystical turn makes their self-doubt impossible to forget."

Based solely on a few photos from the episode that were released last month, it was tough to guess exactly what that description meant. But the trailer lays it all out on the table: Anna (Anna Konkle) and Maya (Maya Erskine) visit a caricaturist on a Florida boardwalk during their vacation, and are horrified to discover the parts of themselves that are exaggerated by the artist. And since they're playing middle-schoolers who are at peak vulnerability over any physical critiques, a significant portion of the episode plays out with their characters depicted as the exaggerated versions of themselves.

Konkle, who co-created the series with Erskine and Sam Zvibleman and wrote this episode, has said that the episode was originally going to be live-action, with the characters donning prosthetics to reflect those caricatures. "We got really excited about prosthetics," she said. "Before COVID, we were on the track. We were getting fitted for prosthetics; we had all these amazing digital pictures made of what we were going to look like. It was killing me, I was so excited." Then the pandemic hit, and they decided to turn that negative experience into a new experiment and make the episode animated – which seems like it's a good aesthetic match with that feeling when you're young when you visit a new place and try to adopt a whole new personality.

Of course, this being Pen15, Maya and Anna's bubble of anticipation bursts in spectacular fashion when they realize that a change of locale doesn't mean they've been whisked away from all of their problems. Being interrupted by your dad while hanging out with boys in a jacuzzi? Brutal.

The Pen15 animated special airs on August 27, 2021, but there's no official word yet on when the rest of season 2 will air.